WRITE TO ME! firstname.lastname@example.org Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016
Thursday, January 7, 2016
CRUSTY… a potter's workplace
Who could guess that pictures of my filthy workplace might make a good post? It probably doesn't, but I am doing it anyway, with Yogi! (Yogi being my neighbor's dog that I babysit almost as much as my own dog…more if you count the fact that Yogi works with me in the studio because he lies quietly and my own dog eats clay, cute and sweet as she is….)
Meesh mentioned that she had cleaned her tools to switch to white porcelain work. They use a dark clay most of the time, and porcelain is the whitest of whites, so you understand the need for clean. BUT really, otherwise, what potter needs to clean up?????????? My wheel is 22+ years old and has never been cleaned….
I do use white stoneware, first of all, because it is a clay that doesn't look dirty when it hits the floor or covers a tool.
I thought I would explain my work practices. First of all, nobody needs to eat at my workspace. And it is actually a pretty tidy space, by some potter standards. The fellow I apprenticed to never cleaned anything either, why would you? The next day you're back in there making a mess. Once a week I vacuum up the floor, and sometimes I clean my tools into the wheel's drip tray. Which leads me to clay scrap: all my clay scrap ends up in my drip tray, where it sits overnight, then I blob it onto a bat to dry a day or 2 then it gets wedged into the next pots. That way I never accumulate clay scraps, you see? (my main job as an apprentice was turning his 3000 pound pile of dry clay scraps into useable clay…can you see why I have a system where all scrap is made useable right away?). As far as washing my tools, it is easier to just scrape a dry and crusty tool into the drip tray, why wash clay down the sink?
I am curious what other potter practices are out there? Are you uptight and scrub your wheel and tools every day and make tidy little piles or buckets of clay scrap?
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- CRUSTY… a potter's workplace
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